Crores spent, Panipat’s Hali Park still in neglect : The Tribune India

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Crores spent, Panipat’s Hali Park still in neglect

Crores spent, Panipat’s Hali Park still in neglect

Buffaloes in the water-logged area of Hali Park. Sukhjinder Saroha



Tribune News Service

Mukesh Tandon

Panipat, June 9

Despite spending crores of rupees by the government, the poor condition of the Hali Park irks the residents. Damaged trees, uncut grass, broken footpaths and gym machines have become the identity of the historical park. The daily walkers demanded high-level inquiry into the matter and to initiate action against the erring officials.

The revival project of the Hali Lake and park is incomplete even after former Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s announcement in December 2014. The buildings constructed are in a state of utter neglect. The project was to be completed in August 2019, but it has been delayed by 36 months.

The deplorable condition of the park. Sukhjinder Saroha

The Municipal Corporation had allotted the tender in January 2018 to a private contractor company of Delhi and the estimated cost of the project was Rs 23.40 crore. As per the tender conditions, the work had to be completed till August 2019, but is still pending.

Vikram Chauhan, an industrialist, who used to go to the park daily for morning walk for the last 40 years, said Hali Park and lake are the best examples of the negligence and wastage of public funds by the government officials. The condition of the park is so deplorable that the tracks are starting to break and open gym machines are lying broken.

The MC had spent crores of rupees for construction of buildings of the open air theatre, open cafeteria, auditorium, restaurant and other facilities to develop this site as a tourist spot. It had a plan to fill the lake with canal water to start boating here, but nothing has been done so far, Chauhan alleged.

Presently, there was no guard and gardener to maintain the park, due to which the anti-social elements made use of the place, he said.

The government emphasised to save water, but for the last two months, water was flowing openly here. It was not only damaging the trees, but in the coming season, it would become a breeding ground for dengue mosquitoes, he said.

Chauhan demanded that a high-level inquiry should be conducted for wastage of taxpayers’ money and action should be initiated against the erring officials for delaying the project and those responsible for the deplorable condition of the park. It should be handed over to the IOCL refinery under the corporate social responsibility programme.

Sandeep Ralhan, another resident of the area, said that the park was in a poor condition. Crores of rupees have been spent on the development of this park but, it has still not been completed in the last 10 years. He added that it should be inquired with some independent financial agency that why this park and lake were not developed within 10 years. Who gave the tenders and to which company they were allotted. The independent agency should initiate action against the erring officials and the contractor, he demanded.

There is no potable water, toilet, lighting facility for the people, the auditorium had not been not started so far, carcasses of dogs were found every day in the park, he said. Former CM Khattar had inaugurated the Hali Lake two years ago under the Amrit Sarovar scheme, but there wasn’t a single drop of water in the lake so far, he alleged.

Sudershan Chugh, another daily walker, said that the park was in a very bad shape. No one takes care of the plants here. Trees were uprooted around one month ago and no one was there to remove them, he alleged. The park and lake are in a state of utter neglect, Chugh lamented.

MC Commissioner Sahil Gupta said that they had organised a meeting recently about the horticulture work in the Hali Park and to conduct a volumetric survey of the Hali Lake to fill it with water. The other issues, including security would also be taken up accordingly, the MC Commissioner said.

Project delayed

The revival project of the Hali Lake and park is still incomplete. Damaged trees, wild overgrowth, broken footpaths and gym machines have become the identity of the historical park. The buildings are also in a state of neglect. The project was to be completed in August 2019, but it has been delayed by 36 months.

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